Azalea (Rhododendron spp.) are evergreen or deciduous flowering shrubs which are a commonly planted ornamental worldwide. There are over 800 species of Rhododendron spp., all with flowers of various colors and are bell-shaped or funnel-shaped. The showy flowers display large, spectacular blooms ranging in colors of red, pink, white, and yellow.
Rhododendrom sp. is highly toxic to birds. Ingestion of 1-2 lb of green leaves can cause clinical signs of cardiac glycoside poisoning in poultry. The plant is found throughout the United States, and contains the same toxins as what's found in foxglove and oleander---cardenolides or cardiac glycosides. Cardenolides interfere with the cardiac function of the heart which can cause irregularities in heart rate and rhythm.
- cardiac irregularities
- weakened heart rate
- Toxic plants ASPCA (2014)
- Cortinovis C, Caloni F. Epidemiology of intoxication of domestic animals by plants in Europe Veterinary Journal (2013)
- Hough, R. L., Crews, C., White, D., Driffield, M., Campbell, C. D., & Maltin, C. Degradation of yew, ragwort and rhododendron toxins during composting. Science of the total environment (2010)
- Puschner B, Holstege DM, Lamberski N. Grayanotoxin poisoning in three goats Journal of American Veterinary Medicine Association (2001)
- Jackson T. Cyanide poisoning in two donkeys. Veterinary Human Toxicology (1995)
- Purohit, K. Rhododendron poisoning in animals. Indian Vet J, 37 631-633 (1960)